This thread has quite a few different topics in it. My response was to the most recent item. Most of the other matters have already been answered.
On the broad topic of people saying that their serials don't work when entered into the product, there are a number of reasons why this can happen:
The most common is a mistranscribed serial key - typing a "2" instead of a "Z", etc. For customers who have purchased online, it is recommended that the serial key be copy-pasted from the email
This topic seems to have conflated the two separate matters of licence key validity and expiry. I was addressing the key validity matter for folks who were saying that their keys weren't accepted by the product. Aside from entry errors (and occasional bugs), a validly issued home user key that hasn't been cancelled for egregious licence infringement will be accepted by the product. If it has expired, then your licence information box will tell you that it has expired, but you can still enter it